Being a blogger, I frequently write reviews about different websites, softwares, mobile applications etc. To make my posts more attractive and interesting, I always make sure that I include the screenshots of the app or website I am reviewing. Taking screenshots on a computer is very easy, as there are hundreds of tools available that enable you to do so. But, how do you take screenshots on an Android phone?
Well, I had to do a lot of Googling before actually finding a solution to this. Basically, there are 2 ways to take screenshots on your Android phone. The first method is a little tricky and involves the use of Android SDK to capture the screen. The second method involves installing apps on your phone to capture your screen. In this post, I will explain both the methods of taking screenshots on your Android phone.
Method 1 : Using the Android SDK
The Android SDK is basically a software development kit which enables developers to create applications for the Android platform. The kit contains a utility called Dalvik Debug Monitor. This is the software we will be using to take the screenshots.
Step 1 : Installing the SDK and other necessary files
Before you install the Android SDK you need to make sure that you have the Java Development Kit installed. If not, you can download it from here. Scroll down to the Java SE Development Kit bundles and download the “JDK x Update xx with Java EE”. Install the SDK and it’s various libraries, including the Android tools.
Once you have installed the Java Development Kit, head over to the Android Developers website and download the Android SDK. The SDK is available on Windows, Mac as well as Linux. If you are using Windows, it is better to download the installer rather than the zip file as it provides an easy way to install the Android SDK. In case you have downloaded the compressed file, just extract it’s contents into a folder.
Now, for the purpose of taking screenshots, these steps should be enough. But, those who want to develop applications for Android, can check out this comprehensive tutorial on how to install the Android SDK.
Step 2 : Getting your device ready
The SDK can communicate with your device, only when USB debugging is enabled on your device. To do this, just head to Settings->Applications->Development on your Android device and tick the “USB Debugging” option. You can also tick the “Stay Awake” option to prevent your device from going offline when plugged in.
Once you have enabled USB Debugging on your device, just connect your device to the computer. Your Android device is now ready to communicate with the SDK.
Step 3 : Launching the Dalvik Debug Monitor
To open the Dalvik Debug Monitor Service, just navigate to the folder where you have stored the SDK and go to tools->ddms. The Dalvik Debug Monitor window opens.
Here, in the left pane you will see the list of all connected devices. Just double-click on your device. Also make sure that your device is “online”.
Step 4 : Taking Screenshots
If you have followed the above steps correctly, your device should now be ready to take screenshots. To capture the screen of your device, just go to Device->Screen Capture or press Ctrl+S. The Device Screen Capture window opens with a screenshot of your device screen. This image is a static image, and hence you will need to hit the “Refresh” button in order to update the captured image.
If you want to change the orientation of the screen, just hit the “Rotate” button. You can save the screenshots as a PNG file or even copy the image to clipboard.
That’s it! You can now take screenshots of your device any time you want. Well, if you find this method a bit tricky you can always opt for the second method which is relatively easier.
Method 2 : Using third-party Android applications
Those who don’t prefer using the SDK for the purpose of taking screenshots, can use third party applications to do so. If you search for the term “sreenshots” in the Android Market, you will find that there are various apps available that let you take screenshots of your device. But the problem is most of them require you to root your Android phone. There are quite a few apps which lets you take screenshots without rooting. Below, you can find simple steps on how to root your Android device as well as a list of Android apps that lets you take screenshots.
Taking screenshots by rooting your device
Rooting is a process of modifying your phone to gain complete control over it. There are various methods to root your Android device. A very simple method is by using an app called Universal Androot to root your device. Using this app is very easy and you can root your Android phone with just one-click.
In case Universal Androot doesn’t work for your device, you can try the methods posted here.
Once you have rooted your phone, you can use any of the apps listed below to take screenshots of your Android device.
1. Screenshot It – Screenshot It is a simple app that lets you take screenshots of your phone’s screen and save it as a jpg or png file. It lets you take screenshots by setting a timer or by even shaking your phone. In addition to this, it also enables you to crop the screenshots and choose a custom directory for your screenshots. However, this is a paid app and will cost you $3.99.
2. ShootMe – ShootMe is a free app to take screenshots of your device. You can shake your device, shout or even use the light sensor to take the screenshot.
3. PicMe – Compared to the above apps, PicMe lets you control as well as take screenshots of your device from a remote browser. All you have to do is fire up the app and go to http://your_phone_ip_address:8082 to control your device and also take screenshots. This app too is available for free in the Android Market.
Taking screenshots without rooting your device
There are various reasons why people do not root their Android device. Well, in that case you can use the app below for taking screenshots.
No Root Screenshot It – No Root Screenshot It is a paid app that lets you take screenshots of your phone without rooting. It is similar to the app Screenshot It, both in looks as well as features, since it was developed by the same person. You can download this app from the Android Market at $4.99.
Well, these are the different ways I could find to take screenshots on Android. If you are experiencing any problems with the above listed methods or happen to know any other method to take screenshots on Android, tell us about it via the comments section.